Intentionality and modern philosophical psychology—II. The return to representation

Philosophical Psychology 4 (1):83-102 (1991)
Abstract In rounded terms and modern dress a theory of intentionality is a theory about how humans take in information via the senses and in the very process of taking it in understand it and, most often, make subsequent use of it in guiding human behaviour. The problem of intentionality in this century has been the problem of providing an adequate explanation of how a purely physical causal system, the brain, can both receive information and at the same time understand it, that is, to put it even more briefly, how a brain can have semantic content. In two articles, one in the previous number of the journal and this present one, I engage in a critical examination of the two most thoroughly canvassed approaches to the theory and problem of intentionality in philosophical psychology over the last 100 years. In the first article, subtitled ?The modern reduction of intentionality?, I examined the reductive approach pioneered by Carnap and reaching its apotheosis in the work of Daniel Dennett. In this second article, subtitled ?The return to representation?, I examine the approach which can be traced back to the work of Noam Chomsky but which has been given its canonical treatment in the work of Jerry Fodor
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DOI 10.1080/09515089108573017
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